21 April 2023 – Securing raw materials is a growing priority in many countries. Not only for China or the United States, but also for India and EU member Germany. At the same time, mining companies report a lack of investment in the mining and processing of raw materials, especially in the base metals copper, aluminium and nickel.
Securing raw materials a growing priority
Securing raw materials is increasingly becoming the focus of political work for many countries. Not only the United States and China, but also India and the largest EU member state, Germany, have moved raw material security up the priority list. At the same time, however, the mining industry warns that important investments in the industry are missing.
India faces challenges in CO2-intensive steel industry
While India is concerned about how to secure future supplies for its CO2-intensive steel industry and faces the challenge of decarbonising an industry that is one of the world’s highest emitters of CO2 per tonne of steel and plans to grow further in the coming years.
Germany already has to import 90% of its raw materials
The export nation Germany, on the other hand, wants to become more independent vis-à-vis countries like China and Russia and has had to cover about 90% of its raw material needs through imports for decades. Here, a raw materials fund is to help procure important and critical raw materials in sufficient quantities.
Mining companies desperate for investment
At the same time, as mentioned at the beginning, the mining companies are also taking a stand to point out that important investments in the extraction of raw materials have been lacking for years and are thus not only endangering the transition to CO2-neutral extraction of metals and minerals. But also to point out that too much attention is being paid to lithium and rare earths, while the base metals are falling behind.
Copper, aluminium and nickel availability at high risk
The extraction of copper, aluminium and nickel is at risk and the industry is particularly dependent on these materials. All three base metals are expected to remain in short supply in the coming years. For all three raw materials, analysts and the industry foresee shortages that could run into the millions of tonnes per year.
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